Orange Belgium completes acquisition of VOO

Orange Belgium completes acquisition of VOO
Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

Orange Belgium finalised its acquisition of a 75% stake of telecom operator VOO on Friday, the company announced in a press release.

Buying all but one share of three quarters of the company's capital, the balance of capital still remains in the hands of Belgian telecommunications group Nethys, the company confirmed.

The corporate takeover is now complete, with Nethys also announcing the integration of Charleroi and Brussels cable operator Brutélé into the VOO brand through the intermunicipal company Enodia, thereby consolidating most of the cable infrastructure of the Walloon and Brussels-Capital regions.

"The process of opening up VOO's capital had been launched by Nethys in May 2021 as part of the group's reorganisation," Nethys specified. "The strategic objective was to give VOO the means to invest massively in its development, in particular its network, to continue its growth, while maintaining a minority stake of Nethys and therefore of the public shareholders."

The takeover of Brutélé by Enodia was concluded in December 2021 to make the purchase of VOO more attractive for prospective investors.

The transaction values VOO's total capital at €1.8 billion. Orange Belgium, a subsidiary of the Orange group, will finance the transaction through an intra-group loan. This is not the first attempt to sell VOO: in 2019, a €1.2 billion deal with an American fund fell through due to legal issues.

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The transaction comes after the European Commission gave the green light for the acquisition. Orange will notably open access to its new VOO/Brutélé network to Telenet, a Belgian network which is primarily active in Flanders. Telenet will also have access to Orange's developing fibre optic network.

Orange Belgium will present its long-term strategy at a press conference in Brussels on 8 June.

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